Coal plant receives EPA approval to inject carbon emissions underground

The  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued the first ever permit that will allow a coal plant to store some of its carbon emissions underground, as a means of mitigating global warming. The idea has been around since George W. Bush, but time and time again its been scrapped largely for economic considerations. Ten years later, FutureGen Industrial Alliance Inc. has now

High level of arsenic contamination found in groundwater near fracking sites

Researchers at University of Texas at Arlington conducted tests on more than 100 water wells in Texas and found 30% of these contained ‘alarming’ amounts of arsenic, enough to be considered carcinogenic and seriously threatening human health. These contaminated wells were found in the vicinity of known fracking sites and prior to drilling these were found to be free of arsenic

Ozone-depleting chemicals still spewed in atmosphere despite international ban

NASA reports significant quantities of ozone-depleting chemicals are still leaching into the atmosphere despite an international ban signed by all the world’s governments thirty years ago.

People in Beijing can pay for public transportation in recycling

People from Beijing can now use one of the city’s 34 newly installed facilities which allows them to pay for public transportation or charge their phone credit with empty plastic bottles. China is the world’s biggest polluter, and will likely stay so for years and years to come. The growth of their economy has been fueled by coal consumption, which

Whales and sharks sightings increase around NY waters, in response to cleaner waters

After cleaning the Hudson River, which spills into New York harbor, marine biologists report increased sightings of whales and sharks around the Big Apple’s waters. The cleaner waters now harbor more fish and nutrients, which in turn has led to a surge in numbers. Dolphins and seals are also on the rise. The Hudson River used to be filled with pollution

Mercury content of upper oceans has tripled since Industrial Revolution

Scientists have finished analyzing water samples taken from 12 oceanographic cruises from the past 8 years. Among other startling discoveries, they report that the mercury content in the upper oceans has tripled since the Industrial Revolution began. Interestingly enough, this is the first time we have an accurate, systematic global distribution of mercury in oceans. While mercury is a naturally

Sobering Aerial footage of the Mount Polley environmental disaster

The Cariboo Regional District has released troubling video of what can already be called a full-scale environmental disaster following the release of five million cubic meters of effluent from a tailing pond at the Mount Polley gold and copper mine near Likely, B.C., on Monday. Mount Polley is an open pit copper/gold mine with a developing underground project, located in

Beijing to shut down all coal-fired power plants and other coal facilities by 2020 to curb air pollution

Beijing and the surrounding area will ban coal by the end of 2020, the official Xinhua news agency said on Monday. It’s not much, but it’s a start – about 1% of the Chinese population lives in that area, and over one quarter of the energy they use comes from coal, so banning it is definitely a good signal. Fuel

Frack now, ask questions later: bio impact of fracking still largely unknown

Since 2007, shale gas has boomed by 700% in the US and is projected to rise for the next 30 years. While there are states where well fields span across hundreds of hectares, you’d think that the effects of exploitation of this caliber are well researched and documented. In reality, the bio impact of fracking remains largely unknown.

Colorado is averaging 2 oil and gas spills per day – but residents don’t hear about it

Colorado is averaging 2 oil spills per day, but oil companies aren’t obliged to inform residents – even if the surface or ground water is polluted.

Only one sixth of the original Caribbean corals remain, but damage can be reversed

It’s estimated that only a sixth of the original coral reef that covered the Caribbean waters is still alive today, according to a recent report released by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). If no major interference occurs, most of the coral in the

Bees make blue honey after eating M&Ms

It’s a tough period to be a bee – even though it’s fairly clear by now that the massive bee wipe-out is caused by pesticides and fungicides, and even though places where such pesticides have been banned report huge increase in bee health, the world is still not taking steps to save the little insects. To put it bluntly, bee

Trillions of pieces of plastic in the Arctic ice

The Arctic ocean likely holds trillions of pieces of plastic in ice; as global warming starts to tick in and the ice starts to melt, all those pieces will drift into the oceans. Even though the finding has huge implications, it is so surprising that researchers don’t know yet how bad of an effect this will have on wildlife. The pollutants

Bioplastic made from shrimp shell could help curb plastic pollution

In the US alone, some 34 million tons of plastic waste is generated every year, of which only seven percent gets recycled. The good thing about plastic is that it’s sturdy, cheap and easy to make – these are also its biggest downsides. Plastic is so well built that it can last up to 1,000 years in landslides without degrading, affecting

China just admitted 20% of its farmland is polluted

The Chinese government sort of took everyone by surprise after it made a most unaccustomed  statement; it admitted the country isn’t fairing that well. Oh, no, don’t worry. They still got plenty of money and loads to collect still. What’s beginning to be revealed is the cost of China’s new found prosperity and accelerated industrialization: of course, it’s pollution. Apparently,

Light pollution impeding rainforest regeneration: Seed dispersing bats avoid feeding in light polluted areas

When you think about pollution, usually dirty chemical substances pop to mind; maybe some petroleum, or waste water – light pollution doesn’t usually take the first places. But a new study conducted by scientists from the German Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research Berlin (IZW) showed that light pollution can also have a significant effect. What is light pollution,

Turning methane leaks from fracking into gasoline; an interesting option, but not enviro friendly

Hydraulic fracking has grown to unimaginable hights in the past few years, growing by some 20% a year, and reaching a total market cap of $37 billion today. Recent tumbling prices for natural-gas have slightly detered exploration, but North America at least, which accounted for 87 percent of the fracking market last year, shows no sign of stopping. With so

Environmental refugees? Wealthy Chinese depart mainland in search for clean air

The low quality of the Chinese air is more than simply a nuisance – China has by far the worst air quality out of all the industrialized countries, and it’s estimated that 16 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are in China. Needless to say this significantly raises mortality and causes a myriad of health issues – but are

Leaking natural gas may be a significant contributor to global warming

Since the turn of the industrial revolution, round the 1750’s, the share of methane gas in the atmosphere has nearly doubled. Methane molecules are roughly 26 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat, and thus they’re one of the most dangerous types of emissions. Burning methane, however, is a whole lot better (actually less worse) than burning coal,

The top 7 countries responsible for global warming

A new study published in Environmental Research Letters  ranks the the top seven contributing countries to global warming. Together, these nations account for more than 60 percent of pre-2005 global warming. Before we go on to pointing fingers, it’s important to note that the study incorporates various metrics. This way you can see how each country dumps emissions based on surface size